Charles 'Chuck' E. Schumer

Contact Information

Telephone:202-224-6542 (Main phone number)
Campaign finance

Candidate Background

Birth place:Brooklyn, NY
Residence:Brooklyn, NY
First Elected:1998


Next Election:2016

Undergraduate education: Harvard University


Graduate education: Harvard University


Chuck Schumer was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he still resides. He earned a bachelor's degree and a law degree from Harvard University.

The same year he graduated from law school, he was elected to the New York Assembly at age 23 and he hasn't left politics since. He served in the state Assembly from 1975 to 1981.

He was elected to the U.S. House in 1980 and served there for 18 years.

He was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1998, defeating three-term Republican incumbent Sen. Alfonse D'Amato.

Schumer and his wife, Iris Weinshall, have two daughters.


Chuck Schumer, a top Democrat in the Senate, is a tireless politician who is in Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's inner circle.

Schumer is one of the go-to Senate Democrats called upon to talk about policy points or take on Republicans, such as when he warned that an all-out move to repeal the health care overhaul would hurt the GOP. He also is known for taking on populist positions. After three children died when a yacht capsized off Long Island on July 4, 2012, he appeared with relatives of one of the dead children saying that all recreational motorboats should be required to display passenger limits.

When it comes to crime and some other issues, Schumer is conservative; he supports the death penalty. On some other issues he is more liberal. He came out in support of gay marriage in March 2009. The reversal marked a significant shift for the Democratic senator who voted in support of the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996. It also gave further momentum to gay marriage in New York, which legalized it in 2011.

As chief of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee in the 2006 and 2008 campaign cycles, Schumer sought to promote centrist Democrats more likely to win a general election — even if the candidate opposed one of his policy positions. The party picked up eight seats in 2006, and took control of the Senate. It picked up an additional six seats in 2008.

Schumer remains popular around the state and he has cruised to re-election, facing little-known Republican opponents.

Schumer's penchant for rapid-fire sound bites and constant media exposure has long been the subject of Capitol Hill jokes, but in many ways he is still the same brainy, pushy kid from Brooklyn first elected to the New York Assembly at age 23.

He is the son of an exterminator and grew up in a middle-class neighborhood in Brooklyn where he still lives. He was a teenage quiz show whiz on the show "It's Academic" who entered Harvard at age 16 after scoring a perfect 1600 on his SATs. He graduated from Harvard Law School at 23 and was elected to Congress at 29.

There, he quickly developed a reputation as an aggressive policy maker, quick to grab the spotlight. Bob Dole once famously remarked that the most dangerous place in Washington was the space between Schumer and a TV camera and the expression has followed him.

Schumer's role as a key Democratic mouthpiece on Supreme Court nominations was tested in 2005 when former President George W. Bush appointed two new jurists, John Roberts and Samuel Alito. Schumer pressed both men and tried to set the stage for future showdowns over judicial nominations, but in the end the Democrats scored no heavy blows in the confirmation hearings.

Schumer has sought to play a greater role in the development of ground zero and other parts of New York City after securing a pledge for $20 billion to help the city recover from the World Trade Center attacks of Sept. 11.

For Schumer, the attacks in the city where he grew up have been deeply personal. The view from his apartment in the Park Slope neighborhood used to include a view of the twin towers. His eldest daughter was at Stuyvesant High School near the trade center when the airliners struck and it was several hours before he had news that she was fine.

Committee Assignments: Judiciary; Finance; Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs; Rules and Administration(Chair)

American Conservative Union Rating: 0

Americans for Democratic Action Rating: 90


Chuck Schumer is not up for re-election in 2014.

(Last updated by The Associated Press on June 24, 2014.)

Last updated 3:16pm March 1, 2018